Waupaca County plans to increase its total expenditures from $75.05 million in 2014 to $76.77 million in 2015.
Under the proposed 2015 budget, the county’s property tax levy will rise by $492,000 over this year to $24.57 million.
The county’s property tax rate is projected at $6.62 per $1,000 of equalized value, an increase of less than 1 percent over the $6.57 rate approved last year.
Property taxes account for 32 percent of the county’s total revenues, while the county’s 0.5 percent sales tax is budgeted to provide 4 percent of revenues.
Sales tax revenues in 2015 are projected to increase by 7.57 percent, from $2.8 million budgeted in 2014 to $3 million in 2015.
Actual county sales tax revenues for 2014 are currently above projections. In August, sales tax revenues were more than $80,000 above budget projections for that month alone. No month in 2014 has been less than $10,000 over projected sales tax revenues.
Heidi Dombrowski, the county finance director, noted in her report to the county board that sales tax revenues have been gradually increasing over the past five years. And the anticipated $200,000 increase in 2015 was used to reduce the county tax levy.
Intergovernmental revenues, which includes state grants and state shared revenues, accounts for 17 percent of total county revenues. Waupaca County will receive nearly $12.93 million from state sources, a $875,000 drop from last year.
Public charges for services accounts for 12 percent of the county’s budget for a total of $9.22 million.
Fines and penalties are budgeted to bring in $2.34 million in 2015, which is 3 percent of total revenues.
Intergovernmental charges for services, which is run through the Waupaca County Highway Department and primarily includes road projects, accounts for 16 percent of the county’s budget.
About 8 percent of the county’s revenue stream, $6.4 million, comes from long-term debt financing and fund balances from prior years being applied to 2015 expenditures.
In addition to an operating levy of $17.53 million for 2015, the county’s tax levy for debt service will be $6 million, which is an increase of 2 percent over last year. The county’s special purpose levy for library and bridge aids will be $1 million, which is an increase of $30,000 over the 2014 budget.
Over the past five years, the county has worked to build an unassigned fund balance worth 25 percent of operating revenues.
The county’s unassigned fund balance was $1.2 million over its goal at the end of 2013 and is expected to increase by $500,000 to $800,000 by the end of this year.
The county Finance Committee will assign $800,000 from the undesignated fund balance to future capital projects.
Next week, the Waupaca County Post will review county spending plans for 2015.